Saturday, August 22, 2009
Around the World and Back Again
It's hard to believe I've already been in Kuwait for 4 days. My time in the states was awesome, thanks to so many of you who read my blog and spent time with me while I was home! It was a great time of seeing family and friends, getting much needed spiritual encouragement, and generally enjoying the good ol' USA! I also got to attend my brother's wedding (which was fabulous!) out in California and another wedding of some good friends in Chattanooga. 3 weeks, 4 states, 6 airplane rides and no time to even bother with jetlag :-) However, I do know that I must have been a little tired by the end since I ended up at the wrong airport in DC! Yup, it was a bit of an oops. I decided to spend a day and a half in DC with my best friend before flying back to Kuwait. So I flew from Chattanooga to DC on Sunday, and had to catch my flight to Kuwait on Monday night. As some of you know, DC has two airport...Regan and Dulles. I've always flown in and out of Dulles, but on this trip I decided to fly from Chattanooga into Regan. Well, on Monday I naturally had my best friend bring me back to Regan. In what turned out to be a huge blessing, we had decided that I would get to the airport 4 hours early since my friend had a meeting she had to attend. She dropped me off and I pushed my overloaded $4 cart into the terminal. There were no lines at United, so I was thrilled. I went up and scanned my passport. It just beeped at me. I scanned it again. It beeped again. I called over the ticket agent and she tried. Again, just a beep. She asked me where I was going, and I said Kuwait. She told me there weren't any flights to Kuwait leaving that evening. I started to panic. Then she said that I must be flying out of Dulles. Of course I was! I nodded in agreement and then froze. I wasn't at Dulles, I was at Regan! OOPS. So an hour and $65 later, I arrived at Dulles (after a very pleasant taxi ride with an Afghan driver who was playing the Koran in Arabic when I got in...go figure). When I got to Dulles and saw the long line full of contractors and military personnel, I knew I was in the right place. And I even had time to get some dinner before catching my flight! It was odd to realize that I felt totally at home with the crowd of people waiting to board my flight. It was like we all knew the same secrets...knew where we were going...had the same crazy experiences that are just hard to understand for people who haven't experienced this corner of the world. In a very strange sense, I felt at home even as I felt a sinking feeling when I walked past the sign that said "Kuwait" and down the corridor into the plane. The trip was uneventful, and it was a very different feeling arriving in Kuwait this time (as opposed to 8 months ago). This place is now familiar, even with all its idiosyncrasies. I have mixed feelings about being back here, but I feel more prepared than the first time I arrived and I look forward to seeing what God does during these next few months. Today was the first day of Ramadan...which deserves its own post...so that will be coming soon! Stay tuned.